Post Op Instructions

Following Crowns And Bridge Treatment

Caring for your provisional restoration will improve the longevity, esthetics, and fit of your new crown or bridge.
Good brushing keeps the gums around your provisional(s) firm and healthy. This allows us to cement your crown onto a clean, dry tooth, thereby enhancing the water tight seal of the crown.
The provisional holds the tooth in the position it was in when your impression was taken. If the tooth shifts position, the new crown will require a lot of adjustments to achieve an acceptable fit. So, we do not want the provisional to come off. Avoidance of sticky and hard crunchy foods will prevent damage to your provisional. If your provisional comes off, breaks, or loosens, call us as soon as possible.
Most chewing gum will stick all over a provisional crown, so NO GUM. This will not be the case with your final crown.
Since provisionals become worn after a short time of service, undue postponement of your crown-seating appointment can allow the tooth to shift.
It is common to experience mild tooth sensitivity and tender gums around the tooth for a day or two following your crown preparation appointment. Usually, Ibuprofen (Advil) works well on this type of soreness. 
Thank you for being the kind of person who cares enough about their health to have this kind of involved dentistry done.

We look forward to your next visit with us.

Tooth Whitening (Bleaching) Instructions

While bleaching, it is important to follow these instructions for optimal results;

Brush and floss thoroughly before bleaching as the bleaching gel cannot penetrate the tooth through plaque build up.
Place one small drop of gel for each tooth on the inner surface of the tray that will touch the front side of the teeth. Using gel for the back molars is probably not necessary.
Store bleaching gel in a cool, dry place.
Place trays in mouth and wear them 1-2 hours a day. Do NOT wear them overnight. The gel works best during the first hour, but still has some benefit over the next hour. The effects are cumulative, so more wear gets you faster results, but less wear still gets you there eventually.
Remove trays when done for the day. Rinse well.
If sensitivity occurs, there are a few steps that can be taken:

  • Decrease the length of time the trays are actually worn.
  • Trays can be worn every other day. Results will take longer, but your teeth will appreciate it.
  • You may place desensitizing toothpaste (Aquafresh or Crest Sensitive or Sensodyne) in the trays and wear them for 20-30 minutes per day.

Remember, results come more slowly for some people than others. You may have to be patient and persistent, but we will be here to advise you along the way.
If there are any questions or concerns, please contact our office at (816) 246-4920 during regular business hours.

What To Expect After Root Canal Treatment

Some soreness and aching following you appointment is not unusual. It is typically something that can be managed well with Ibuprofin (Advil).
While intense discomfort or swelling following root canal treatment is uncommon, it does sometimes happen. If you are experiencing either of these, do not hesitate to call us as we may need to get you on a prescription medication. You can call us at (816) 246-4920.
A temporary filling has been placed in your tooth. The material we placed is very moisture-tight, but not especially strong. It is alright if some of this temporary filling crumbles away from the surface as long as the entire bulk of the filling stays in place. Call our office if the entire temporary filling is lost.
A few days after your procedure, you may notice the tooth has gotten a little tender to touch. This is due to inflammation caused by the procedure itself and shouldn’t develop into a problem. It should only last for a couple of days.
Do not postpone your appointment to get your root canal tooth restored. This puts a protective seal over the root canal and protects the tooth from future problems.
Once again, if you notice anything unusual or have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (816) 246-4920.

What to Expect After Periodontal (Gum) Treatment

It is not uncommon to have some soreness and aching following your appointment.  Typically, the areas around where local anesthesia was administered are the most sore.
Slight bleeding around the gums is to be expected and will subside within 60 minutes after treatment.  Bleeding while brushing and flossing is to be expected and will diminish over time. Pain medication such as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Acetominophen (Tylenol) may be taken as needed.  Cold sensitivity around the gums is a common occurrence because plaque and calculus that were present have now been removed and areas of root may be demineralized from the plaque.  Using toothpaste with fluoride as well as rinses containing fluoride may help.  An antibiotic mouthrinse may also be prescribed for you to use for 4-6 weeks after treatment.  If you notice anything unusual or have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our office at (816) 246-4920.

Instructions For Care Following Dental Surgery

BLEEDING - Bite on gauze pack for one hour following surgery. Remove gently after one hour. Place new gauze for an additional 30 minutes if necessary. A slight ooze after removing the gauze pack is not unusual. The following activities could reinitiate bleeding during the first 24 hours after surgery: rinsing, swishing, forcibly spitting, sucking or drinking through a straw, carbonated beverages or alcohol, hot foods, foods that require a lot of chewing, smoking, strenuous activity or physical exertion.

SWELLING - Swelling after dental surgery is common and should not cause alarm. Swelling is usually the most significant 2 days after surgery and may last up to a week. An ice bag or crushed ice in a zip-lock bag held on the side of the face nearest the surgical area will greatly reduce swelling and alleviate a lot of pain, as well. This is most effective if done in the first two hours following surgery. Using ice 15 minutes-on, 15 minutes-off, 15 minutes-on, etc. is usually very effective.

PAIN - If medication for pain has been prescribed, take it according to directions. Otherwise, you may want to take aspirin, Tylenol, or Advil. Pain or soreness may persist for a few days but should be getting noticeably better within 24 hours. If not, please get in touch with us at (770) 476-9747.

DIET - Soft foods are advisable during the 24 hours following surgery. Do not chew on the wounded side of the mouth. Do not drink carbonated beverages or alcohol. Avoid hot foods and drinks. Do not drink anything through a straw.

SMOKING - Refrain from smoking for 48 hours following your surgery. Smoking is the leading cause of dry sockets after tooth extractions.

MOUTH RINSE - Do not rinse forcibly with anything for at least 24 hours following surgery. The day following surgery, begin using a warm salt water solution (1 teaspoon salt per glass of warm water) and continue 5 times daily for 5 days.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your dental surgery, please call us at (816) 246-4920.

Your Bite Appliance (Occlusal Splint) Information and Instructions for Use

Your appliance was provided for several of the following reasons:

  • To protect your teeth or crowns from conscious or sub-conscious clenching or grinding. These habits can cause your teeth or crowns to have excessive wear, sensitivity, fractures, looseness, or pain.
  • To relieve and control facial pain, jaw joint pain, headaches, or detrimental changes in the jaw joints.
  • To assess how your facial pain or headaches are related to the fit of your teeth and what you do to your teeth.
  • To find out where your teeth should fit when your jaw joints and muscles are most comfortable and relaxed.
  • To find out which teeth could be vulnerable to destructive biting forces when your jaws squeeze their hardest.
  • To discover more of what you do with your teeth before any complex dental work is done that reconstructs your bite. 

Your appliance is designed to:

  • Provide solid, balanced support for your bite. This helps to provide jaw joint stability and muscle comfort and relaxation.
  • Provide equal and simultaneous pressure when solidly biting on your back teeth. This provides the best stress distribution for your back teeth, with minimal joint and muscle fatigue.
  • Provide smooth contacts on your front teeth when you move away from your back teeth. This provides a smooth, non-stressful guidance on your front teeth and reduces lateral stresses on your back teeth.
  • Provide a healthy, non-restrictive range of motion for your jaw muscles, which improves comfort and reduces muscle fatigue and spasms.

Using your appliance

You will be instructed on when to wear your appliance. The most common use is nightly while sleeping, especially if the primary use is protection from the effects of grinding or clenching during sleep.
If you are in bite appliance therapy for pain relief, you may certainly want to wear it during the daytime, too. You decide how much. The more you wear it the sooner we can get a handle on the problem.
Only wear it if it is quite comfortable. Call us if it isn’t. Some people do not find it uncomfortable, but find it may take a few to several nights to get used to sleeping with an appliance in their mouth. If you are having a hard time adapting, try wearing it for shorter periods to help adaptation.
Some people notice they clench more initially with the appliance, as it brings previously sub-conscious activity to the conscious mind.
You do not need to test all the various bite positions at home that we repeatedly look for while you are in the office. Just wear the appliance, try to forget about it, and see what feelings obviously surface.
How to care for your appliance:

When removing your appliance after a long period of wear, it is good to brush it with tooth paste, rinse it, and shake it dry.
It is always smart to place it in a plastic case when not wearing it. The case makes it easy to find and protects it from accidents, children and pets (dogs find these to be irresistible chewy treats).
To keep your splint really clean and fresh you may want to soak it in denture cleanser a couple of times a month. Then to keep it free of long term bacteria and stains, about 4 times a year you can soak it for 15 minutes in a glass of household bleach (you’ll want to do a lot of water rinsing afterwards, and a quick rinse in mouth wash).
Many patients have had their appliance for 7 to 10 years with minor changes needed. The appliance can serve you well with just minimal home care.
Remember to bring your appliance over the years to your preventive visits so we can evaluate how you are doing with it.
What to report at your adjustment visits:

  • Any irritating areas against your gums.
  • Any obvious changes in how your teeth fit when biting into the appliance. You do not have to search for these differences. Let them find you if they stand out.
  • Any changes in your awareness of clenching or grinding activities.
  • Any changes in your comfort related to muscle tension, pain, headaches, jaw joint pain, or joint noises.
  • What you are thinking and feeling about wearing the appliance and what you are learning about your teeth.

As always, if there is a concern or question that you have between appointments, feel free to call us at (816) 246-4920.